Coffee gotten, Nicholas has driven her back to the Hilton and booked them a room on the second floor, arm never leaving her side. Finally he's able to bring her into the room, and his first order of business is getting the bed set up for her so she can sit comfortably and warmly. He sets about getting the pillows fluffed and set up, then turns to take her hands and help her onto the bed. "Is this going to be okay for you, hon? Security's still not the way it ought to be back home, so we'll probably be here for a while. Until it's safe. Can I get you anything?"
Kennedy comes with him wherever he leads. In fact, she doesn't actually seem to care where they're going. There are even times when she stares at Nick like she's afraid he might disappear. Which is what she's doing now, standing there in the room, watching him set everything up. When he takes her hands, she blinks and looks down at them before she moves with him. "It's fine. Later you'll have to tell me what happened at home." She looks up at his face, chewing on her bottom lip for a moment. "I just need you. And I need this to be real," she says, closing her eyes and letting out a sigh through her nose.
Nicholas helps her gently onto the bed and lays her down, then hops up beside her, laying out on his side and resting an arm around her middle. He looks up at her face, especially as she speaks, and leans in to kiss her gently. "Me too," he murmurs. Some of that sadness saps back into his gaze there and he studies her face for a long moment. "If I wake up, and you're still dead, I don't...think I could take that. So...this is real, right? I know *I'm* real...and I'm pretty sure you are...so I'm going to hope it stays like that." He runs a hand along her side, very gently, and scoots a little closer. "I won't ask you what happened," he says quietly, looking at the bruises and cuts on her face--not to mention the gauntness. "But when you're ready to tell, I'm ready to listen, okay?"
Pressing gently into that kiss, Kennedy shakes gently, but her hand moves up to touch his face. She opens her eyes as he studies her, and she frowns lightly. "I'm not dead. I didn't die. They sent a... copy. It was the weirdest thing I ever..." The memory seems to disturb as she shakes her head and drops her sentence. "I just hope I'm actually out this time." Her hand moves to rub over her face. When it drops, she looks at him, nodding to his words. "Thanks. Thank you. I'll... I just..." She closes her eyes again, but leans into him more, "Just don't leave me, okay?"
Nicholas gives her a quizzical look at the first explanation, obviously pretty curious as to what the hell it was he experienced. He chews on that thoughtfully, but doesn't press when she stops. "You're out, from...wherever it was, you're out." He reaches over and pulls her very gently into his arms, letting her lay on him as he holds her and pets her back and hair. "I won't ever leave you, Kennedy. Ever. You're stuck with me." He nuzzles into her, still needing to anchor himself in that same reality that she's here, she's back.
Kennedy sees that look and she furrows her brow for a moment before she sits up. "I watched him change. Into me, you know?" She doesn't exactly look at him, more /toward/ him, but her eyes are on the bed. "They didn't say what they were doing until later, but just knowing she was going to you at all." She pauses there, fingers fiddling with the sheets. "Did she-" Stopping there, Kennedy seems to rethink what she was about to ask as she shakes her head. She chuckles a little and looks up at his face, "This does seem real. But she's very good, you know. And if this isn't real and she's hearing me say that, I'm going to have to be extra snarky to her later. I just wish there was a way to /know/. For sure. To know this time it's real." Her legs drop off to dangle off the edge as her hands come up to cover her face.
Nicholas listens, chewing on his lower lip. "That's..." He just pulls a face. Despicable. And then he looks downright angry for a moment, but he shoves that away with a snort. At her aborted question he looks up at her again. "You--She...called me, said she'd escaped. To meet her at Sky Park and pick her up before they found her again." He's speaking carefully, navigating pronouns with care. "Then...I got there, and I saw her...and I was running to meet you when...you were suddenly... Someone shot you, dead. At my feet. I didn't even get to...talk to you, or hold you, or..." He shakes himself out of the downhearted reverie, giving her a soft, sad smile. "But it wasn't you. Right? It was some creepy fomor. ...I think the body's still in the morgu-- I have to call your parents back! And the funeral's off-- and--" He blinks, a bit overwhelmed. "I...Christ, I have to tell Officer Mason you're not dead. I'm going to look like a raving /lunatic/ this week." Not that he minds. He zones back in on her though and he sits up, moving to sit beside her and wrap an arm around her. "I...don't know. Umm... I take it pinching you wouldn't work?" He gives her a gentle smile.
"I'm sorry," Kennedy says with a sigh, her hand reaching back to find his hand. "It wasn't me. It wasn't me. They were trying to... mess you up. And then by you being messed up, they messed me up and I suppose they were planning to continue that way." A sort of guilty look comes over her and she turns to face him, words faltering for a moment. "Baby. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She doesn't touch him, and worse, she looks like she's going to cry as he wraps her up. "They know about the dreams. About /those/ dreams. They had this /woman/," she says, the word coming out on a growl, "And she was fiddling around in my head an I tried to stop her, but I couldn't-" There she does sob, but she seems determined to press on. "She saw things. I'm so /sorry/."
"Kennedy," Nicholas says gently. "Kennedy, /Kennedy/, it's okay." He still holds her, plainly worried for her. "It's okay. We'll deal with whatever comes out of that. It's fine. You are pretty much one of the strongest people I know. If they got past you? They could've gotten past anyone. Shhh. It's okay. You don't need to apologize." He kisses the top of her head, rocking her a little. "Jesus, Kennedy. If I ever get to the people who did that to you? I'm going to fucking rip their goddamn throats out, on the spot." There's a bit of a protective tightening around her at that, and she might feel his jaw tighten a bit.
"They didn't get past me. They cheated." Kennedy leans against him, closing her eyes as she relaxes into that rocking. If there's any discomfort from her wounds from that rocking, she's good about not showing it. "I pissed her off. Which is half the reason I'm sure this isn't actually real, because she's been pulling this shit on me ever since I strangled her and slammed her head into the floor," she says, matter of factly. "But, I really want this to be real. So I'm going to go with that for a while now."
"I have no doubt they did," Nicholas mutters, holding her close. He nuzzles into her a bit as she talks, but as she mentions what she did, his head lifts again, giving her a surprised, but very appreciative look there. "Baby, I'm proud of you. Seriously? That's /awesome/." He blinks a bit, grinning, though it fades a little as he sees the repercussions. He tilts her head up and looks into her eyes. "It's real. I swear on...my parents' graves. On coffee. On...on this." He lifts his hand, showing his wedding ring on his finger. "I wish I knew how to prove it. Time, I guess."
Kennedy looks up as he tilts her head up, and she nods a little. "She pissed me off. And they were still letting me off the table, then, so I went for her. I just... you know, I've never really understood temporary insanity before, but I think I do... now." When his expression fades, she lifts a hand to touch his face. And when he lifts his hand, she takes a hold of it to kiss the ring on his finger. "I love you. And you're probably right. Time. You might have to be on high alert for a while. I hope that's okay."
Nicholas gives a bit of an embarrassed chuckle. "Ah... yeah. Me too. I'll...tell you about all my stupidity later, but I will say I spent most of the week in jail." He does look pretty ashamed at that, shrugging his shoulders. "Temporary insanity." He smiles warmly though as she kisses his ring, and he leans in to kiss her forehead. "I love you too, Kennedy. So damn much. And I will gladly be on high alert for a while. You have... actually probably every bit as much an idea of how much I've wished I could be around you this week. Even on high alert."
"Sounds like we've got stories to trade later," Kennedy shifts to lay down on the bed, her head hitting the pillow. "You know, it feels weird to be able to lay flat." Absent-mindedly, she rubs a bit at her wrist, but turns her head to look over at him. "I have a pretty good idea, yeah. And if you want, I'll go to the police myself and get the nutty looks. And I should probably be the one to call my paren- Actually, that might freak them out. I think I might have given David a heartattack when I called him. You call, but I'll be there with you."
"Sounds like. Though mine may not get to wait until later. I have sept punishment awaiting me--double, now, since I'm still waiting on the one from before you left. And uh. Well, Henry's got the company for a while, at least until... actually, I wonder if they're going to cut the grief counseling requirement since you're back?" Nicholas lays down beside her, taking her hand in his if he can. "Still stuck with the anger management classes though, I bet," he says with a slight grin, then sighs. His thumb runs over the back of her palm. "No, I should call the police first too. After all the trouble I've caused this week, I need to be up front with them about this. Also it might look like some horrifying conspiracy theory publicity stunt otherwise. Wife is kidnapped, wife dies, husband goes nuts, husband gets arrested, place goes up in flames, wife miraculously alive! Which--don't get me wrong, is the best part of that story. I'm just not sure how that'll get explained. Body's still at the morgue..." He looks over at her and kisses her temple lightly (opting away from her cheek at the moment-- it's had enough abuse). "I'll call your parents, don't worry."
"Anger Management? Oh boy..." Kennedy lets him take her hand, her other comes over to cover his. "Do I get some time off, too? If you're not there?" Leaning into his kiss, she lets out a heavy sigh. "Okay, but I'll go with you. And if the authorities managed to have a look around in there... the police should be pretty busy worrying about that. Although, I have no idea how the body double is going to be explained, but you know the best part? We don't actually have to explain it. It was something we're just as baffled by they are. But we wish them luck in figuring it out." She nods to his last words, then scoots over to wrap an arm around him. "Just not yet. I want a little quiet before the circus."
Nicholas smiles a little sheepishly. "Temporary insanity," he repeats softly. He smiles more warmly though when her hand covers his and he nuzzles close. Though he pauses at that. "Kennedy, you get time off because you look like you've been beat to hell and back and need time to recouperate! ... Though, with the executive gone, there's not much need for an executive assistant. I'm sure Henry would agree." He grins as she explains the bit about the police, and gives her hand a squeeze, covering her other hand with his. "God, Kennedy, I missed you so much," he says with a bit of an awed chuckle. "I do *not* have a level head without you. I missed all your good ideas. Actually, your good ideas were pretty low on the list of things I missed regarding you but they were there. Kennedy, I'm so glad you're not dead!"
"I don't just look it," Kennedy says with a gentle smirk, trying to downplay it a little with humor. Her smile turns more genuine as he stacks their hands and she leans over to press a kiss to his lips. "I know you don't. And I'm sorry you had to deal with all this. But next time, if there's a next time, listen to David, okay? And Rommy. They both also have wonderful ideas. And baby? I'm glad, too. And I'm glad you're not- that you're okay. I missed you desperately." She finishes with a whisper, leaning forward to press her forehead to his.
Nicholas's smile fades just slightly at that, just a little! "Well, I said I wasn't going to pry, wasn't I?" he winks, smiling more warmly again. He returns that kiss, and settles close to her. At the mention of a next time though, he sobers right up, smile fading entirely. He has to look down for a moment, to compose himself, but he nods. "Yeah. Ah. That had...been my plan." He doesn't look up again until her forehead touches his. Then he looks up into her eyes. "I missed you too," he whispers, eyes shining a bit with tears. "I don't want you to die, Kenny. And I don't want to wake up, and find out this was...some...dream. I--sorry..." He looks away again, top hand lifting from the stack to rub at his eyes. "Christ, what a week," he mumbles.
"You can pry, if you want. Just... some things I might not be ready for yet. But this," Kennedy says with a gesture to her face, "Just proves that I have a mouth and am stubborn. They said they weren't supposed to hurt me, but, you know, they were just too fun to poke at." She gives him a reassuring smile, but she holds him closer as he sobers. "I'm sorry. I didn't think that through before I said it and I'm feeling a bit... out of sorts. I'm not going to die. I'm too ornery and /far/ too in love with you. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I'll be right here with you when you wake up."
Nicholas smirks a little for her loud mouth and kisses her gently. "I'm sorry that got you hurt, but I love that mouth you've got on you." He nuzzles a bit closer as her hug tightens, but he shakes his head. "Don't be. It's not your fault. And I am *holding* you to that, Kennedy Grey. I will come hunt you down in the Dark Umbra if you're not still here when I wake up, I swear it! But... in return, I'll be here when you wake up too. I'll always be here for you, Kenn. I love you."
"I can handle getting slapped around. That was the easy part," Kennedy says to his first words. "And it just makes me sass /more/ and then eventually stop. And then I get to be all smug. Best part of the day." She smiles as he goes on, but looks a little sad all the same. "I hope you are here. I hope to Gaia this is real and she isn't just fucking with me. But whether she is or isn't... I'm going to savor you right now, because this is the best thing that's happened all week and I am so happy to be here in your arms. I love you, baby."
Nicholas smiles a bit at her there, gently reaching up to touch her bruises. "Well, while you can handle getting slapped around, I still prefer to see you whole and unbeaten. I'm sure...that goes without saying. But, I think it's awesome you sassed--sassed? Is that a verb?--your captors." He keeps petting her cheek lightly, avoiding the cuts as he can. "I'm real. I promise. And this is seriously the best thing that's happened all week, and I love you too, Kenny. So, so much." He leans in and presses a long, sweet kiss to her lips, fingers running into her hair and back to rest on the back of her head.
Kennedy winces just a little bit as he moves to touch her bruise, more in anticipation of pain than anything. "That does go without saying. And you wouldn't believe the sass. It probably wasn't the best idea, but I didn't know the guard was a Spiral when I started and then I didn't want to back off, because I didn't want them to think they had me scared." Funny how she slips that spiral in there like it wasn't a big deal. "Okay. You're real. I can believe that. You feel pretty real to me." She returns that kiss, her eyes closing as she leans into those fingers. "Mm. That felt pretty real, too."
"Spiral?" Nicholas says, a hint of worry in his voice. He opens his mouth to ask, but he thinks better of it and just settles for a frown. But hey there's kissing to do. As the kiss parts, he looks at her, a little half-smile on his lips, then leans in and kisses her again. And maybe a few more times. And another, for good measure. He sighs contentedly into her lips, mmming softly, fingers caressing the back of her head. "I missed this," he whispers softly.
"Yeah... and baby, you can ask. Whatever's on your mind, you can ask." Kennedy moves to run her fingers through his hair, a gentle, loving gesture that just happens to expose the raw wound on her wrist under her shirt cuff. But she's more interested in those kisses, each of which get returned, love and hope in the embrace. "I missed this, too. I missed you. God, I love you, Nick."
"I'll ask later," Nicholas murmurs, nuzzling his nose against her. "Right now? I just want to hold you and be glad you're back." He smiles lovingly at her when her fingers run through his hair, though he does catch sight of her wrist too. He reaches up and catches her hand, and pulls her sleeve back for inspection, brows knit. But again, no words. He just kisses her palm softly, and wraps her up close. "I'm so glad you're back. I missed you like crazy. I love you, Kennedy. So damn much."
"Okay," Kennedy sighs at his nuzzle, sounding happy and relieved. But when he takes her hand and looks at her wrist, she blinks and frowns lightly. "Restraints." The kiss to her palm makes her lip quiver a little and she swallows hard to keep herself from crying. "I missed you, too. It was the thought of getting back to you that kept me... together. Strong. I love you, Nick. I love you with my whole heart."
Nicholas's jaw sets a little at the mention of restraints, fury hitting his eyes, and he looks back at the raw wounds there. Then he presses her hand into his, and looks up at her. "If anyone dares /touch/ you again, I will hunt them down to the ends of the earth." And he means it too. His words are quiet, but serious. He then lays her gently on her back and leans up a bit, carefully inspecting her hurts. His hands start to draw her shirt up to look but he pauses, looking to her. "May I?"
Kennedy's fingers curl around his hand and she meets his gaze for that declaration, a tear slipping form the corner of an eye. "Just take me with you when you do." Laying as he guides her, she watches him as he looks over her injuries, at least the ones that are visible. "You're not going to like it," she says when he goes for her shirt, "but you're going to see it all sometime, so might as well."
Nicholas nods. "I will always take you with me. You're my Bonnie, Kenn." He smiles slightly, then commences his inspection. Her words draw his attention back to her torso, and he nods. He unbuttons that shirt and lets it slide open, then very lightly runs his fingers over the bandages placed by the medic last night. He just kind of stares for a long moment, upset on his face and in his posture. "I'm sorry I didn't get to you sooner," he says quietly.
"Thanks. Clyde," Kennedy says, mirroring his smile. But her smile fades as he opens her shirt, and she blinks and looks to the side as he looks her over. "It's not so bad," she says, which is probably a lie, but she manages a smile all the same. "It's okay, Nick. You didn't know I was there to get to. Urick and them seemed surprised to see me there, so I guess I got lucky."
Nicholas runs his hand over her bruised and beaten skin, nodding a little to her words. Then he suddenly looks back up at her. "Did they-- You said--no, she--he, it said they'd...assaulted you. Did..." He looks down at her body again, and then back up, frowning. She can probably tell his protective hackles are up in full force.
"You mean..." Kennedy lifts a shoulder in a shrug, then looks at him. "Not really. I mean, one of them liked to kiss me and there was some groping here and there, but it wasn't any worse than you get at a crowded club or a particularly zealous bus ride. I think they got over it when I didn't whimper and cry, because they focused a lot more on the mental stuff... instead." She seems to be trying to reassure him, and her hand lifts to gently pet his cheek.
Nicholas doesn't quite like hearing that either, but he's not about to snap or anything. His muscles are tense when she pets his cheek, but he leans into her fingers regardless, trying to cool it. "Okay. You and me? We're going to get together when you're better, and we're going to fucking kill everyone who had a hand in that. In any of... of that." He gestures at her body. "You don't deserve /any/ of this. What the hell did they want with you, anyways? Some...some good time? Some new lab rat?" His jaw tenses and he has to look away, baring his teeth, furious.
"That sounds like a good plan. I put dibs on Maria," Kennedy says, a sort of dark fury coming into her expression at the name. But, she shakes her head and shakes it away before she looks up at him again. "Well. at first, they said they were sure I was a supernatural and went through all these medical tests and poke and prods and like that to try to find out what I could do. And then when that didn't work out, they brought in Maria. The psychic. She got in my head and riffled through my memories and figured out what I can do. And I think... when she saw the dreams... Baby." She reaches up to touch his face, turning him back to look at her again, "I think they're trying to turn you. I'm pretty sure that's what the double was about, knocking you off balance. And there was this guy that liked to come and tell me you'd find your hope again in the dance and such. I wanted to hit that guy a lot."
Nicholas lifts a slight brow at Maria, but concedes without argument. Girl's got the right to put dibs on whoever she wants. Still, he's listening to her, and that's not helping his anger any. Righteous indignation! When she turns him to look at her though, some of that anger softens. Then fades altogether in a kind of stunned silence, expression barely tinged by fear. "Shit," he breathes. "We've...been having a Spiral problem. They've been creeping around the bawn... Shit. It...it might have worked. I didn't have a lot of fight in me for a while there. Shit. Why me? I mean...I'm not..." He reaches for her hand and squeezes it, more for his own reassurance, and he takes a deep breath. "Okay. Then we make sure we're ready for them when they come," he says definitively.
"I don't know why you, baby. I don't know if there's much thought behind it, or if it's because you're in the public eye or if it's because you're one of the high ups in the sept. I couldn't tell you. But they're not going to get you, Nick. I'm not going to let them. And neither are you. Or David or anybody else. I love you. And we'll be ready." She returns his squeeze, and she pulls him closer to her. "I love you. Everything's going to be okay now."
Nicholas frowns at first, but it fades into a slight grin, and he easily slides closer to her. "I love you too. And we've been practically under fuckin' siege lately, but it'll be okay, I hope." He nuzzles his nose against hers and kisses her softly. And then a little more, because he can never resist. "Everything will be okay. You're here with me. Nothing can go wrong."
Kennedy returns those kisses and steals a few of her own while he talks, her hand running down to rest against his chest. "We'll be able to handle whatever comes now. I'm not leaving your side for a long while." She glances down to his chest, then looks back up at him, looking a little sheepish. "I know I'm not in any condition for messing around, but can we take your shirt off?" The sheepishness sticks around as a smile comes to her face, a bit of hopefulness there.
"Good," Nicholas murrs, resting a hand on hers as he kisses her a bit more. Mm. He looks at her curiously at that sheepish look, and then chuckles at her words. "Love, anything for you." He sits up then, and pulls that long-sleeve slate blue shirt off, dropping it on the bed, then lays back down beside her. "There you go. Ah--want me to button your shirt back up, love?"
When he lays down beside her, she reaches over to put her hand on his skin, letting out a soft sigh as she takes him in. "Oh... well, I'm okay. Unless the wounds are bothering you?" She tilts her head as she looks at him, her hand slowly stroking over his skin. "I missed this. Being next to you, touching you, seeing your smile, hearing you laugh. The memories aren't as good as the real thing."
"Oh, no. Well, they bother me by being there in the first place, but it's not like I haven't seen bruises and cuts before." Nicholas runs a hand gently down her arm, petting her skin. "God no they aren't. I missed this too." He kisses her again and smiles softly. "You missed seeing me smile?" He gives her a great big one then, as big as he can make it, then laughs a bit and lets it fall more naturally. "Well, I'll definitely say you didn't miss any smiles while you were gone. You've got them all, saved up for your second coming." He winks, and nuzzles against her, blissfully happy for the moment.
Kennedy gives him a shove at the big, goofy smile, but moves to nuzzle against him as he laughs. Even those laying on her side seems to be somewhat painful, she pushes closer to him. "And the laugh. God, Nick. I didn't think I was going to see you again," she says, burying her face against his chest. "I didn't think I was going to get out of there." By the tone of her voice, she seems to be holding back another rush of tears.
Nicholas laughs at the shove, and wraps his arms around her as she nuzzles close. He kisses her forehead. "I know the feeling," he says softly to her first words, running his hands through her hair again and brushing over that phantom bullet wound. As she seems about to cry though, he lets his hands trail to her back instead. "If you want to cry, I'm here. I'll hold you."
"I can't cry," Kennedy says in protest, "If I cry, it means they got to me. It means they win and I... I can't let them win." But, she stays buried against him, her arm looped around him to hold him closer. "I just wanted to get back to you. I wanted to tell you everything was okay. But everytime I got close, it was all... just an illusion. I don't even know what was real. Didn't know, while I was in there."
Nicholas is quiet for a moment at her argument but he just nods and kisses the top of her head. "Okay. You don't have to cry." He keeps holding her, close and protective and warm. (Though he could probably stand a shower, just a bit though.) He listens to her and sighs into her hair. "That... quite frankly, sucks. Christ. But you're out now, and I know everything's okay. I love you, Kenn."
"Thank you," Kennedy says to his first words, and just hangs onto him for a few moments longer. When he speaks again, though, she looks up at him, and it's obvious that she /wants/ to believe it's all real, but that seed of doubt lingers. "I love you, too. And yeah. It has sucked." Understatement. "But I'm glad to get to hold you now. And get held by you. And sleep here with you and have coffee with you and all the things I've been missing. Although, you do get out of jogging for a while."
Nicholas gives her a reassuring smile at that seed of doubt, gently touching an undamaged part of her cheek. "You get all that and more, Kenn." He holds her close to him and kisses her lovingly. "That's okay, I'll be running around anyways. Probably going to be busy. But i'll make sure you can keep up." He smiles playfully and toys with her hair a bit. "You know, even all beat to hell, you're still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen?"
"Good. I want all that and more. I want everything." Kennedy returns that kiss, drawing it out as long as she can manage. "Yes, let me keep up. And I'll help you as best I can. And figure out how to get myself healthy again. I should probably call my doctor for that." Worry crosses her features, but it drains away when he plays with her hair. A smile curls her lips a little, but his words make her wibble a little, and her smile turns shaky. "Thank you," she says on a whisper before she leans in close to him again. Tears hit his chest, but she seems to be trying to not show that she's crying as she stays still and silent.
"You got it, Kenny," Nicholas smiles. "And yes, we're going to call the doctor and make sure you're okay." He keeps petting her hair, though a little more gently when she wibbles. He doesn't comment on her tears, he just pets her and comforts her while she cries. "You don't need to thank me for the truth," he smiles.
Kennedy cries for a little while longer, shaking here and there before she's able to calm herself back down. She wipes at her face, still keeping her head down when she speaks again, "They didn't break me." Nevermind the cracking voice. "They didn't break me." Her hand clings to his arm, taking another moment before she looks up at him again.
Nicholas comforts her all through that, not changing his pace or his touch when she shakes. He schools back his concern when she looks up at him, keeping a gentle expression on his face. "Nah, no one can break you," he says with a gentle smile, petting her cheek. "I love you, Kennedy."
Letting out a heavy breath as she catches his gaze, Kennedy nods her head and rolls over to lay on her back again, a hand moving to rest over the bandage on her torso. "I love you, too. I love you very much, Nick." Her head turns to look at him, looking tired and weary. But, after a moment of looking, she pulls up a crooked smile, "Tell me you didn't sell my shoes while I was gone."
Nicholas lets her move away, though he rolls onto his side now to look at her. He looks like he /ought/ to be tired and weary, dark circles under his eyes and a day and a half worth of stubble, but overall he just looks enthralled and happy. Even his concern for her health and well-being is subdued for that gratefulness that she's back. He grins at her crooked smile. "Every last pair," he teases. "Actually, I haven't been back to the building at all since it happened. So I'm pretty sure they're all still there. And in fact, I will get you new ones as soon as you want to go."
"You better track them all down or you're going to be in trouble," Kennedy says with a chuckle. But, she closes her eyes after for a moment, and shakes her head. "I don't need new shoes. I just need you here with me. And maybe some whiskey. Is there a minibar in this room?" Her eyes open, showing a bit of pain for a moment before she blinks it away. "But, if Luc thinks I'm dead, we might have to call him, too."
Nicholas chuckles softly. "So, even though I'm here with you already...?" he asks with an arched brow, but he's teasing. But he leans over and kisses the tip of her nose, then rolls off the bed, and looks around the room. He did pay a good premium... ah! He opens the wetbar cabinet and pulls out a miniature bottle of whiskey and a glass. "On the rocks, love?" He hunts around for ice, though he pauses at that. "Hon, the whole city thinks you're dead. One sec here..." He peers at a small stack of newspapers, and rifles through it, pulling out an issue from earlier in the week. There on the front page is the headline "LOCAL WOMAN MURDERED" with a picture of her smiling at Grey Inc juxtaposed with a picture of the crimescene. He sets it on the bed beside her, and brings her her whiskey. "Sadly, no ice."
"Yes, even though." Kennedy smiles at the teasing, though, and further at the kiss. She watches him walk around the room, enjoying the sight of him. And being /able/ to see him. "Ice, sure." When he brings over the paper, she sits up to take it and look it over. She looks a little disturbed, looking over an article of her own murder, so much so that she seems to forget about the whiskey in favor of staring a little longer.
Nicholas sits beside her, an arm around her and holding the whiskey in the other hand until she's ready for it. He reads over her shoulder, a bit subdued. The article details the circumstances of her murder, the grief of her widower, and notes the police are investigating. And to contact Officer Eric Mason if anyone has any information. He turns his head to kiss her neck, sighing a bit. "Thank god that nightmare's over," he murmurs.
"It isn't over," Kennedy says in a rather subdued voice herself, "We still have to get this all cleared up. What a mess. Not to mention, the tabloids are going to eat this up and you know it. How badly do you think they'll paint me this time?" She sighs heavily and sets the paper aside as she scoots to get up off the bed. She doesn't appear to have a destination in mind, just having the urge to pace the room a little.
"You're alive. That nightmare /is/ over. We just have some things to juggle now to clear up. But don't worry, we can take care of it. And the tabloids are piece of shit bullshit machines and I will tell them that to their faces." Nicholas lets her stand, though he stays where he is on the bed, watching her. After giving her a few moments, he scoots off after her and steps over to take her hand. "Kenny, hey. It's okay. We'll get it all worked out."
Kennedy doesn't look back to him until he takes her hand. She stops pacing to turn toward him, letting out a shaky breath. "I'm sorry," she says softly, closing her eyes for a moment. "I'm not feeling like myself right now." She opens her eyes to look at him, her head tilted. "I wish all this never happened."
Nicholas shakes his head. "Don't worry, you don't have to feel like yourself right now. Just take your time, okay?" He pets her arms gently, unable to hold back the concerned look this time. Her last statement gets a fairly depressed look--apologetic even. "Should have taken the goddamn Prius," he says with a weak smile.
Nodding her head, Kennedy takes in a steadying breath. "Okay." Looking at his face, seeing that concern and the depression, she lifts her hand to touch his face. "Nick. This isn't your fault. Even if you had gotten there... There were so many of them, Nick. We were right out there in public. I'm not sure how we could have gotten out of it. Please don't blame yourself."
Nicholas smiles a bit at the touch to his face, a little subdued. "I know, but even if there were a tiny chance...I wish I could have taken it." His arms slip around her waist, and he rests his forehead against hers. "But...it happened, and you're here now. And that last part is what's important. I love you, Kennedy." He sneaks a kiss, then straightens again, recomposing his smile for her.
"I know. And if it was switched, I'd be saying the same thing. And you'd be the one telling me not to feel guilty." Kennedy smiles at him, light, but heartfelt. "I love you, too. I love you and I'm... unspeakably happy to be back with you." She leaves of the 'if this is real', but it's hangs in the air all the same. "I just... all this /circus/ we have to go through before things will go back to any semblance of normalcy. And on top of it, we can't even go home." She drops down into a chair there, putting her face in her hands. "Can I have that drink?"
Nicholas pets her waist gently. "But it's a circus we don't have to deal with quite yet. It's going to be a hassle, and there will be stress, and frustration... but we have each other. And that's a hell of a lot more than we had yesterday. As for home, that kid showed up again. Through the new security. He stood over Jocelyn's bed all night, like a statue. Don't...tell her that's what happened, when you see her." He sighs and pinches his brow a bit, but he does hand her that drink. "The kid hasn't done anything, but if he can get through the security, what else can? And does he have friends? Because Danielle heard that guy up in the Living Quarters after the last time... And with you gone--it all happened in 24 hours. You were snatched, that kid showed up, Louise ran off and broke a limb... And those Dancers, and fomori, they're showing up everywhere. It's a fucking madhouse, and I...don't know what's going to happen." Nick sighs and sits down on the edge of the bed, facing her. "I wish I could give you a nice normal home to come back to. But all I have to offer really is me." Which he seems frustrated about, of course.
Kennedy takes the drink, but she tilts her head up to look at him as he talks. It's hard to say just what she thinks about it all, as her expression remains slightly unsteady. And then, out of nowhere, she leans forward and presses a deep, passionate and loving kiss to his lips, her hands holding either side of his face. After drawing that kiss out until she has to draw a breath, she opens her eyes to look up at him. "That's a pretty amazing offer. You."
Nicholas seems to be feeling a bit helpless and out of sorts, right up until that kiss. "Mm! ...Mmm." He returns that kiss with a deep sigh, hands resting on her arms. When it breaks, he looks right back, a little stunned, a little pleased. Probably a little aroused, though he's fighting that one back. "...Do you want a massage?" he asks softly.
There's a chuckle at his question, but she shakes her head. "Baby. You know that you're all I need to be happy, don't you? All you have to offer is you, and you are all I have ever wanted." Kennedy moves out of her chair, sliding over to sit on his lap instead, her arm wrapping around his shoulders. "No matter how much of a madhouse we end up living in, so long as I'm living in it with you, it'll be okay. And I'm sorry so much has happened this week, so much for you to deal with while you thought you had to do it alone. But Nick... I'm always with you. I need you to be able to remember me. I'm always beside you. Okay?"
Nicholas gladly receives her on his lap, his arms wrapping around her waist as he looks up at her. "I know. I just wish it was more, sometimes. Like...I wish I could offer proof that this is real, and you're here." As she goes on, his look softens, and then dips down again, and he leans against her a little, resting his head against her chest and shoulder if it doesn't hurt her too much. "I know, but time... I mean. I was getting there. But I...wasn't able to sit down and really...deal with it yet. Thinking about it...opened up this awful, torrential emotion, and I...I don't know. I just had to turn off for a while. It hurt too much. But I'd have gotten there, eventually, I think."
"I wish you could, too. But baby? Don't wish there was more. More than you? More than you and me together? I think we're lucky enough." Kennedy pets his hair when he lays against her, her other hand brushing his cheek. Just trying to touch him. "I understand. I just don't want to think that I'm going to be the thing that breaks you. I want to be your strength. I'm not saying don't mourn, that would be silly. I just... worry. I worry about you."
Nicholas closes his eyes at those touches, hands petting her back softly. "I still had things to live for," he says softly. "Which is...more than I expected. So I wasn't broken. I was just a depressed man who had lost his wife. ...The part where I then proceeded to get arrested was the part where Sid was worried I was hitting it into Harano. And I guess I might have been...I didn't want to fight, I couldn't get angry. I just wanted to curl up for a while when I couldn't. So he goaded me into anger and that plus the four days without sleep...or food...yeah. Poor decision making. Maybe this counseling might actually be good for me."
"You listened to the Fianna? You really were crazy. Next time, /listen/ to /David/," Kennedy says, putting her hands on his shoulders to give him a little shake for emphasis. And then she stops and slumps a little. "I'm sorry. I said it again. No next time, I swear." At his last words, she brushes her hand along his shoulder and down his arm lovingly. "Maybe. Although, anger management to a garou? I'd like to meet that shrink. Ballsy."
Nicholas chuckles softly. "The idea was all mine. David was the one to call the cops on us, y'know." He sits up again, a bit of a smile on his face, though he sighs and shrugs. "It's okay. There will be a next time, one day." He pets her back some more, looking up at her. "Hah. Well, I was thinking more the grief counseling, but the anger management might help. Or it might not. ...What if they don't pass me?" He blinks, frowning. "All it would take is one class on a full moon... I wonder if Ish can make a talen." He thinks on that for a moment, then shakes himself out of it, looking back up at her. "I missed you, Kenn."
"Well, of course he did. He's suppose to safeguard you legally, too, remember." Kennedy frowns, though, as he goes on. "One day. But let's see about making 'one day' as far in the future as possible. And they'll pass you, Nick. You're prone to being frazzled, but you're not consumed by anger. They'll pass you. Plus. You're charming as hell." This time, she leans over to lay her head on his shoulder, nuzzling in. "I missed you, too. Nick, you're my everything. You hold me and I feel like everything's okay."
"Oh, no, I appreciate it. I'm glad he did. I would have been far worse off if he hadn't. Though ... Mason was there too, and he stopped a lot of it as well. And god yes please, far in the future. A next time by old age." Nicholas laughs a bit about being charming as hell, that crooked smile on his face as he arches his brow at her. "Let's just hope I'm charming enough, eh?" When she lays against him and nuzzles in, he holds her close and nuzzles back. "You're my everything too, Kennedy. And I will do my damnedest to make you feel safe and protected. Everything will be okay, love. I swear it."
"Old age sounds great. Although, in case I do end up getting my grandmother's ass and my mother's thighs, promise me you'll still love me." Kennedy can't help but grin at his laugh and crooked smile, a spark of her usual brightness there in her expression. "I know you will. And I know it will. Nick. We're together again. Which means we'll tagteam the trouble that comes. Provided you didn't lose my guns somewhere," she finishes with a crooked smile.
"Provided you never stop being you on the inside, I will love whatever outside you've got. That's a promise." Nicholas grins, and then grins much brighter at seeing that spark. Hell, he's practically beaming, right there. "Good, then you and I? We'll kick down the door of whatever evil mofo shows itself. Ah..." His grin turns a little sheepish at the end though. "I /almost/ got them confiscated by the police. Almost! But I didn't! They're back home now. I...needed a lot of guns. And I thought it would be poetic justice to bust down Hamilton's door and gun down everyone with your guns. ...Again, not my brightest idea."
"I promise I'll always be me. I'll change, but it'll be change I do with you." Kennedy leans forward to press a kiss to his forehead. "And that would be poetic justice. You didn't happen to get a picture of you outfitted with all those guns, did you?" She asks with a sheepish smile herself, biting gently on her thumbnail. That spark seems to be lingering a bit longer at the thought. "And if not... can we do it again sometime?"
"That's all I want," Nicholas smiles at her, leaning into that kiss then kissing her lips in return. Her next words get a laugh, his grin brightening again. "No, sadly, it was in the early and very dark hours of the morning. But I can put them all on again for you if you want. I will say one thing: the whole array was fucking heavy. Not that I cared at the time, but damn, man. Did you know Louise got arrested for corporate espionage too? She busted into Hamilton on her own looking for you. With a broken foot. Seriously, we had the whole city on the lookout for you again." He smiles, then presses another kiss to her lips, unable to help himself. This one he draws out, arms tightening just slightly around her waist.
"I do want," Kennedy says, shifting a little to face him more, "In the meantime... what were you wearing?" She laughs a bit herself as he goes on, although a hand to her ribs cuts the sound short, "Well, yeah, all of them at once would be pretty heavy. And baby... if everybody was looking for me... they were doing it for you. Because they care about you. David's going to get Louise off, right? I should send her something. Ah, once she knows I'm alive." When he kisses her, she melts into him, returning that kiss with a bit of heat trickling through.
Nicholas chuckles indulgently, grinning at her. "Okay, so I hadn't slept in four days, or eaten really. Or shaved. So I looked pretty crazed, I'm sure. And to top off that serial killer look, I decided to don all black, long coat and all. With your rifle and shotgun strapped to my back. I probably looked insane and quite homicidal." He shakes his head, grinning, though he pets her back a bit as she has to hold her ribs. "Maybe they were. Maybe they were doing it for you. I just care that they were doing it at all. I should send them all something. And yes, David will be helping get her off. Since they lost my case at summary judgment thanks to him, he can probably get them to settle, I bet. He's good with words." Oh but kisses. Those are good. He keeps that up, unable to refrain from responding to that heat. He gets a little more heated himself, kiss growing a little more passionate. He can't help himself! It's been a while for him too!
"Ooh, long black coat. That's like a cape but for /badasses/," Kennedy says with a groan and a grin. "Oh yeah, you're getting in that again. But wait until I can actually jump you without hurting myself." Her smile softens as he goes on, "Maybe we should just have them all over for a party. Maybe for my wake." Those kisses take her attention, though, and when he gets more passion, she does as well. Feeding off him, her hand moves to slide down his chest and brush his side, slowly and savoring.
Nicholas grins. "You got it, babe. And...yeah. Maybe we can turn your wake into something cheerier. God knows we all need it." But right--the kissing. It's like a sexy positive feedback loop, as the more passionate he gets, the more passionate she gets, the more passionate he gets, and so on and so forth. One of his hands slides into her hair to rest against the back of her head, helping drive that kiss deeper just a bit. Just when he's practically on the point of turning and dropping her onto the bed, he breaks the kiss suddenly, panting. "Sorry," he breathes. "Shouldn't have..." He trails off. Oh fuck it. He kisses her again. <3
Kennedy's practically drunk on that passion by the time he pulls away. And that break makes her blink in surprise. "Sorry?" She starts to stop him as he speaks, but then she's getting kissed again and that's okay. There is a chuckle from her, though, and after a few more kisses, she leans back to look at him with a smile. "I don't think I can actually wait until I'm healed up... Being without you all this time... Think we can go gently?"
Nicholas just kisses her and kisses her, finally letting them peter off with a sigh. He smiles back at her, love-drunk and face flushed. "Mmm, oh thank god. Yes, I'll..." He trails off again, this time for a different reason. Then he slaps a palm to his face. "Oh dear god, great going, Nicholas, throwing caution to the wind. Great beta /you/ are-- Kenny, one sec." He very carefully lifts her from his lap and sets her on the bed, leaning in to kiss her one more time, then goes into the bag he packed for the bawn that he brought over. He rummages around then comes up with one of Those pens. Grabbing the hotel paper, he comes over and presents them, giving her an apologetic smile. "Sorry..."
With that slap to his face, Kennedy sits back a little, tilting her head at those words. She moves off his lap, watching him as he moves through the room. When he pulls out that pen, she seems to understand, even reaching for the pen and paper. "It's alright. It would be silly not to check." She starts to write, but stops for a moment and looks over to him, "If they... If I am... you'll be there with me for the cleansing, right? I don't think I could go through that just now on my own."
Nicholas sits beside her, close to her, arms around her waist again. He watches her start to write, breath held for a moment, but then she speaks and his attention is pulled that way. "Absolutely. I'll be right there holding you, Kenny. Don't worry." He nuzzles into her and kisses her neck. And then a little bit more because /that/ little fire hasn't gone out yet, no sir. He even nibbles a little.
"Okay. Thanks." Kennedy gets a little distracted by those kisses, but she shoos him away before playfully turning so he can't see what she's writing. And she does seem to be making more than just a mark on the page. Finally, when she turns that stationary his way, it reads 'Right now, I want to do everything that I love. Especially you. <3'. But more importantly, she's got a clean bill.
Nicholas certainly doesn't shoo very far. Even when she turns away he keeps his arms around her, kissing her shoulder. He /also/ tries to peek, but alas, she has this /hair/ and it's in his way, and he can't attempt to move it without being extremely obvious. So he waits. When she turns back and shows him, he lights up a bit, clearly happy for the black writing. But then he actually reads it and he gets that damn crooked smile. "You have the best ideas," he purrs. "Now, where were we...?" He taps his chin in thought for a moment, then leans in with an impish grin, sucking on her earlobe. "Mmm. I'm going to lay you down. I think if we put you on top but lay you down, you'll get the least hurt. Don't worry--I'll do all the work. What do you think?"
At that smile, Kennedy tosses aside both the pen and the paper before she grins as he sucks on her ear. "I think me laying down is for the best. But I don't want you to do /all/ the work..." She shrugs off her shirt, letting it fall to the bed before she moves her hands to start getting him out of his pants. "I love you, Nick. I love you. And I've been thinking about nothing but you for a week, wishing I could be here just like this, and half convinced I'd never be here again. Having you here within touching distance... Nick, you're intoxicating..."
Nicholas runs his hands over her shoulders and arms as she shrugs off her shirt, leaning up to kiss under her jaw while she's getting him ready for undressing. "Mmm," he purrs at sharing the work. He runs his hands lightly over her front now, avoiding the bandage and her ribs (those bruises are pretty dark and telling, after all). "Oh god, I love you, Kenny," he whispers. "And I've missed you, and I've missed this... and speak for yourself, Kenn. God, I can't get enough of you." He nips her neck, hands sliding down to her pants to unhook them and aid in the mutual nudity.